The school of hard 'Blocks' has taught our experts a thing or two about saving time and money when renovating. Read on as they share their wisdom.
PREP, PLAN, PREP AGAIN
“You can’t be over-prepared,” says Georgia. “That comes down to planning the space, doing your research on trades, doing your research on furniture, shopping around and getting the most cost-effective option. It’s just investing the time into planning, and that’s my number one tip. If you do that, then there’s less room for error.”
FOREVER HOME? OR FLIPPING?
Understanding why you are embarking on the reno journey will help you make decisions throughout the process. “You should know how long you want to stay in the house for,” says Alisa (The Block: Sky High winner and Fans vs Faves). “That determines how you finish things and what you spend your money on. Whether you plan to stay in a house for five years, for life or if you’re renovating to flip. That’ the biggest question that you have to ask yourself.”
UNDERSTAND YOUR PRODUCTS
When picking your tile, “don’t be swept away by a design before you know both the laying/cutting procedure and the ongoing maintenance required,” says The Block host Shelley Craft. “Some small tiles take plenty of hours to work with and cut and lay – this will add to trade cost, some large format need plenty of cutting too or can be very heavy on a wall, so will require more time to lay. That means more money.”
A GOOD PLACE TO PULL BACK
If you’re tight on cash, the laundry is a good area that if you need to reign in the budget, that’s where I’d do it. Even just some open shelving instead of built in cabinets is a good way to save some cash.
DON'T CHUCK OUT YOUR OLD APPLIANCES
If you have existing appliances that still work then install them in your new kitchen to save you money. "But double check they’re standard sizes so they can be replaced later on, " says Lysandra (The Block: Sky High winner and Fans vs Faves)
GIVE IT GOOD BONES
“Design a solid, quality and timeless foundation,” says Alisa (The Block: Sky High winner and Fans vs Faves). “All the pretty stuff —cushions, rugs and artwork— can easily be changed depending on trends. The foundation has to be something that will last. Strip everything out of the room and just make sure that your foundation— the wall colour, the floors or the lighting—is going to see you through the years. All the rest is pretty easy. Soft furnishings are so affordable that you can change them every couple of seasons if that’s the way you are.”
PICK UP A PAINT BRUSH
Painting your home whether you are using a professional or doing it yourself can be a daunting prospect. There are so many choices. If you are trying to save money, “get on the paintbrush. Everyone can paint,” says Ronnie (The Block: 2017). “Practice makes perfect, so definitely give it a red hot shot."
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